Ever since The Smiths split in 1987, the indie band’s legion of fans have pined for Morrissey and Johnny Marr, the singer and guitarist who formed the group and wrote their songs, to put their differences aside and reunite.
Now Marr has revealed that the duo actually met for a drink in 2008 and discussed reforming The Smiths, even admitting that for the four days after their reunion, he was convinced that the band would get back together.
However, depressingly for fans, the talk of possibly reforming The Smith remained nothing more than that, and the pair have only had fleeting contact since. Johnny Marr made this admission about his reunion with Morrissey in south Manchester in his brand new memoir entitled Set The Boy Free, which will be released on November 3.
Johnny Marr: ‘The conversation about re-forming came out of the blue’ https://t.co/JykiXH5WXy
— The Guardian (@guardian) October 29, 2016
The excerpt from the book that details Morrissey and Marr’s 2008 meeting has been released in The Guardian, with whom Johnny Marr decided to discuss their brief flirtation with reuniting.
“The conversation about re-forming came out of the blue,” Johnny Marr admitted.
“I didn’t go there with that in mind. But there had been quite a few rumors about it, so naturally we discussed it. ‘It could happen…’ ‘How d’you feel about?’ ‘What if?’ And off we went.”
Marr admitted that this was the first time that the pair had actually met since they were involved in a court case against The Smiths’ former drummer Mike Joyce, who had sued the band. Despite not seeing each other for around a decade since the late 1990s, Morrissey and Johnny Marr had actually shared some contact via text messages as the guitarist remastered the band’s catalog for re-release.
In his memoir, Marr admits that as he worked on these records and re-listened to the music he found himself “struck by how good the band were” as he “recalled the exact intention and emotion that went into every note and word.” This provoked him to text both Morrissey and bassist Andy Rourke, saying, “You can really hear the love in it.”
During their messages to each other they realized one day in September 2008 that they were both just a couple of miles away from each other in south Manchester, so they decided to meet up face to face in a pub. Over the course of several hours, they reminisced about their times in the band, “caught up with personal news and family,” before the topic of the long-rumored reunion arose.
In his memoir, Marr recalls, “Suddenly we were talking about the possibility of the band re-forming, and in that moment it seemed that with the right intention it could actually be done and might even be great… We hung out for a while longer, and after even more orange juice (for me) and even more beer (for him) we hugged and said our goodbyes.”
— ITV Ents News (@itventsnews) October 29, 2016
“I was genuinely pleased to be back in touch with Morrissey, and the Cribs (the band Johnny Marr was with in 2008) and I talked about the possibility of me playing some shows with the Smiths. For four days it was a very real prospect. We would have to get someone new on drums, but if the Smiths wanted to re-form it would make a hell of a lot of people very happy, and with all our experience we might even be better than before,” Marry continued.
Sadly, after Johnny Marr left to tour Mexico with the Cribs, there was “radio silence” between himself and Morrissey. Despite sharing another message in 2010 after a Smiths fan was photographed at a political protest in London, Marr admitted to the Guardian that he doesn’t believe their friendship could be rekindled, remarking, “I think it’s run its course… there’s just no need for it.”
[Featured Image by Jim Ross/AP Images]